Another look in the i at an alternative
The smell of hubris revived again

HP puts Integrity marketing into higher gear

Hppwrtools_materials1000 As the twelfth year of HP's campaign to tout Itanium nears its end, the company is drawing some HP 3000 veterans into the battle to replace the 3000 with Integrity servers. The latest of these systems will be powered by the Montecito version of the chip first announced in December, 1994. Since HP's Unix will run on no architecture other than Itanium and no server but Integrity, migrating 3000 customers are open to the idea of buying into a chip that many have dismissed. The opening comes mostly because needed applications run on HP-UX. Oh, and the upheaval of embracing a new vendor — by stepping away from HP — helps HP's 3000 replacement appear as an easier choice.

To its credit, HP is making things easier for the 3000 solution providers to sell an Integrity system, driving the effort with wireless toys and access to a proprietary database of contacts, among other tools. You could be the owner of a race car or robot, along with an HP Integrity server running a replacement application for your HP 3000 mission-critical programs.

HP now offers $11,000 and more in marketing money to even a modest-sized member vendor in the Developers & Solution Partner Program (DSPP) . HP has often paid its resellers to market HP wares; in the past this money was called co-op funding and paid out in cash. Now resellers never see these thousands of dollars directly deposited, then spent as a vendor wishes.

Instead, marketing expertise in lead generation and co-branded collateral material is funded directly by HP this year. After all, the vendor said nearly two years ago that its goal was to have Itanium-based sales pull even with PA-RISC-based enterprise revenues. Radio-controlled robots and a database subscription service form the newer parts of HP's wood behind the Integrity marketing arrow.

HP has negotiated discounts of up to 80 percent on a lead generation program from Austin-based Bazzirk, Inc. PWR Tools offers a reseller a way to grab the attention of the best 50 prospects who are most likely to buy soon. Bazzirk sends a unique package with remote-controlled F1, Cayman or NASCAR style race cars, or a Robone Robot. Customers get resellers' collateral material and the car or the robot, but not the remote control. That comes with a scheduled meeting with the reseller sales rep, one the customer sets up through an automated lead management tool.

Winn Technology Group gets paid the HP marketing monies to give resellers up to 5,000 contacts over a 12-month period from a "proprietary targeted database" updated monthly. Direct mailings are one thing to do with these contacts, although cold-calling and e-mails are obvious options, too.

Winn creates three postcards, 6 by 9 inches each, to mail to prospects out of its database, leads a reseller can select. Another tool, from MarketReach, Inc., creates a one-page jointly-branded collateral piece touting "the unique value proposition of their solutions on HP Integrity systems based on the Intel Itanium 2 processor."

The marketing extends to writing, too. HP will pay for writing of the collateral piece, printing and translation, too. If a reseller already has accomplished a sale of an Integrity server, a writer will interview the customer and reseller to create a success story. That tale gets posted on HP's internal Web pages as well as the public site.

There are multimedia marketing options to buy with the HP Integrity marketing dollars, too. IB Productions will manage a Webcast for DSPP partners. HP used this technology in helping OpenMPE to conduct its August, 2005 meeting online. Any multimedia demo can be posted on HP's Solution Demo Portal, a "virtual trade show booth. Customers can view these demos without scheduling a face-to-face meeting — the most precise and precious contact to spark an Integrity sale.

HP 3000 partners have a wide range of marketing expertise in their stables, from the "we have too much business now to advertise" strategy up to in-house design teams with complete, multi-channel campaigns across Web, e-mail and postal delivery. HP's Integrity push is exposing the reseller who's selling migration to outsourced professionals, which can be a welcome relief to a company already employing every body it can manage to develop and support solutions for Integrity.